Old Man Winter didn’t send City Hall a memo when he crumpled a section of Snake River Canyon trail.
Apparently undercut by a washout, big chunks of asphalt collapsed beside a rubble of rock and gravel on a short section of the Centennial Trail, which climbs from Shoshone Falls Park to the Snake River Canyon rim. At the narrowest point, only 2 feet of trail remained.
Because it lay hidden behind a curve and a big tree, the damage could ambush cyclists making the steep descent.
“It’s a little horrifying,” Twin Falls Parks and Recreation Director Wendy Davis said Monday.
Her guess is the damage happened during February’s flooding. But she didn’t know about it until Friday, when an employee’s friend posted a picture on Facebook. She sent a crew the same day.
On Monday — while sunshine and a roaring Shoshone Falls drew a heavy stream of walkers and cyclists onto the Centennial Trail — Davis’ department was assessing how to repair it.
“The guys are on it this morning, trying to figure out what it’s going to take,” she said. “It’s significant, so we need to get on it quickly.”
But how could City Hall remain oblivious for weeks?
The Centennial Trail is accessible from the canyon rim, but most trail users probably start from Shoshone Falls Park. And the city periodically closed the entry gate on the park access road this winter because of ice accumulation and road hazards.
Monday afternoon, Deb Haman walked her dog up past the rubble on the Centennial Trail — then past the traffic cones and caution tape that now warned descending cyclists.
“Isn’t it sad?” said Haman, who uses the Centennial Trail frequently. “I saw it a couple days ago.”
Before that, her last visit was in December, when she noticed cracks but no asphalt sections had dropped.
From a bench near the damage Monday, Summer Sosa and a companion looked down on Shoshone Falls — a spectacle fueled by the same big snowpack that undercut and buckled the trail.
“This is the nicest part of Twin Falls,” said Sosa — who just moved here from Florida — as one of her bulldogs untied my shoelaces.
This walking trail, built as the city celebrated its 100th birthday in 2004, revealed Snake River Canyon vistas unfamiliar even to most longtime residents. I’ll be glad to see it mended.
Tuesday morning, Davis said a seasonal parks worker who does a lot of asphalt work was headed down to start on the repair.
Operation Blind Sweep
Every spring, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game officer coordinates a big volunteer effort to clean up trash and shotgun shells from waterfowl hunting blinds on the Snake River.
The Twin Falls chapter of Ducks Unlimited partners with Fish and Game on the annual effort, but the agency is recruiting other volunteers, too. This year the river cleanup starts at 2 p.m. April 15 and promises food and a shotgun raffle for participants. Call Senior Conservation Officer Meghan Roos, 208-539-4428, to sign up.
Rock climbers eager to learn about local crags might like to join a Southern Idaho Climbing Coalition outing Thursday afternoon.
Both new and experienced climbers are welcome at the monthly “Climb with SICC” events, but they’re not meant for people who’ve done no climbing at all.
“We will provide a few top ropes for folks, but feel free to lead and set up your own as well,” wrote host Shawn Willsey, the coalition’s chairman. “Helmets are encouraged.”
The climb is 4:30-8 p.m. March 16 at Tall Cliffs, a south-facing cliff at the northeastern end of Dierkes Lake. For directions, look up the event on the “(SICC) Southern Idaho Climbing Coalition” Facebook page.
For the weekends of March 18-19 and 25-26, Soldier Mountain Ski Area will shift its hours to 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Full-day tickets will be 10 percent off, and half-day skiing and boarding will still begin at 12:30 p.m.
Sun Valley Resort’s last day of the season will be April 16, with a bonus weekend April 21-23. That’s the Baldy Bash, promising live music, food and drink specials, dancing, vintage Warren Miller movies, cosmic bowling and discounted lift tickets and lodging, the resort said Wednesday. Costumes may be required.